Braves Trade Garcia for Options

Braves Trade Garcia for Options

And we’re off. Trading season has begun and the Atlanta Braves and GM John Coppolella fired their first shot Monday afternoon trading LHP Jaime Garcia to the Minnesota Twins for, well, for
flexibility.
Officially the trade is Garcia and C Anthony Recker for RHP Huascar
Ynoa and some cash. But Ynoa is a 19 year-old pitcher with 5.26 ERA and a 12% walk rate. He did have some pedigree before he signed and Fangraphs threw a 55 on both his change-up and his curveball before the season but his actual production has been abysmal, especially when you consider he’s in his 3rd year of rookie a ball and one of his strongest attributes was suppose to be his control. Nice way of saying it; he’s a lottery ticket. Probably the more accurate description however is this was a salary dump.
Garcia, in the last year of his deal, had a decent year for Atlanta. The 32 year-old LHP put
up 4.14 FIP with a 55% ground ball rate and a surprising amount of durability.
The big question when Atlanta acquired Garcia was could he stay healthy. Garcia’s
ability to do just that as well as put up respectable numbers made one of the
more valuable rentals on the market.
In moving Garcia, Atlanta frees up almost $5M in salary to
use on future moves and that’s really what this trade was all about. Between the saved money and the two 40-man roster spots that were cleared, Atlanta has some room to move. It’s been reported that they’re strongly pursuing a frontline starting pitcher
with multiple years of control and before this trade, they simply didn’t have
the salary or space to add one. My guess is over the next week, we’ll see strong push to grab Sonny Gray, Michael Fulmer or another controllable young arm for 2018 and beyond.
During the offseason, Atlanta jumped into the free agent
pool adding Bartolo Colon, R.A Dickey and Sean Rodriguez for a combined $31M as
well as trading for Garcia and his $12M. Add that to the $60M they already
committed to Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis and Julio Teheran as
well the expenses of filling out the rest of the roster and simply put,
they were out of money. There’s a reason they started the year with maybe the
worst collection of bench players in baseball; they were shopping from the
bargain bin.
It was also reported, as well as just being common sense,
that the Braves could’ve improved their return had they been willing to pay down
some of the money still owed to Garcia but after already paying almost $6M for Colon
to pitch for the Twins, they weren’t really looking to bankroll another 20% of
Minnesota’s starting rotation. Especially with so little cash available. So this is the deal. 
On its face, this trade is obviously just meh. Any time you
give up a real player for what is basically a hope and a prayer, it doesn’t taste
great. But this deal probably shouldn’t fully be judged until we see what Coppy
is going to do now that he has something he hasn’t had all year. A little cash
to play with.

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